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Mayor, Fire Chief Celebrate Opening of New Firehouse

Wednesday May 13, 2009

Engine 21 to serve Butchertown, Clifton, Crescent Hill neighborhoods

Mayor Jerry Abramson joined Louisville Fire Chief Greg Frederick and neighbors today to formally open the new Engine 21 fire station in Butchertown. The station joins Engine 6 in Portland as the first new stations to open in the city in 14 years.

Engine 21 is located at Spring Street and Story Avenue. It replaces the existing station at Frankfort Avenue and Pope Street, which was built in 1891 and designed for a single, horse-drawn fire wagon.

“This modern fire station meets the needs of our firefighters as well as the needs of the citizens in Butchertown, Clifton, and Crescent Hill,” Abramson said. “We are making good on the promise to develop a 21st Century fire department for a 21st Century Louisville.”

The new station is much larger, with three vehicle bays to house Telesqurt 21, an EMS unit, and a bay to accommodate future expansion. The location will continue to serve the surrounding neighborhoods and enhance response to the developing areas along River Road and downtown’s eastern edge.

“This new station will have a tremendous impact on our fire response,” Frederick said. “The house offers vast improvements in apparatus space, living quarters and access – and that means the entire community will benefit.”

Neighbors served by this new fire station had significant input in choosing the location and adding suggestions for the design. Studio A Architects incorporated elements from the neighborhood so Engine 21 would echo the area’s signature architectural character.

The fire station will serve two Metro Council districts, and both council representatives applauded the city’s efforts to involve residents in the planning process.

“Residents of Clifton and Crescent Hill are pleased to see that this day has come and a new state of the art fire station is ready to be a part of this community,” said Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh. “I have to commend the residents of this area and Louisville Fire and Rescue for working together to not only ensure our safety but show that we can work together to the satisfaction of everyone.”

"Public safety is my top priority,” said Metro Council President David Tandy. “Today, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Mayor Abramson and the dedicated residents of Butchertown, we can enjoy this new fire station that will bring much-needed service to an area that is recognized as a gem in our community."

Engine 21 includes several environmentally-friendly design features, including geothermal heating and cooling, pervious concrete to improve stormwater runoff, and energy-efficient LED lighting in the dormitories.

A third new firehouse, Engine 10 in the Beechmont neighborhood, is currently under design.

21st Century Fire Plan Adds Vehicles, Builds New Firehouses, Maintains Stations

Since the mayor announced the 21st Century Fire Plan nearly three years ago, the city has added $5 million worth of new fire trucks and equipment to modernize the firefighting fleet:

· Tower 2 – a new aerial unit with a 95-foot telescoping ladder housed at the Floyd and Jefferson Street fire station; approximate cost $900,000

· Engine 10 – new pumper housed at Ashland Avenue fire station in Beechmont neighborhood; approximate cost $450,000

· Truck 8 – new ladder truck for Ashland Avenue station; approximate cost $650,000

Four new pumper trucks have been ordered and should arrive this summer. A 100-foot aerial ladder truck will be delivered in the fall, and a rescue truck for the dive team will be ordered soon. Ultimately, the city will replace more than half of the Fire Department’s 28-vehicle front-line fleet with new equipment.

The mayor has continued to dedicate funds to refurbish existing fire stations. Over the past three years, the city has replaced roofs, added new windows, completed structural work, renovated dormitories, and added new heating and air-conditioning systems and vehicle bay ventilation systems.